6.8/10
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33 user 12 critic

The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963)

Unrated | | Comedy, Crime | 17 May 1963 (Ireland)
In London, when Australian gangsters disguised as "Bobbies" rob British criminals, the panicked British mobsters seek an alliance with Scotland Yard in order to eliminate the foreign competition and return things to "normal".

Director:

Cliff Owen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Pearly Gates
Lionel Jeffries ... Inspector Parker
Bernard Cribbins ... Nervous O'Toole
Davy Kaye Davy Kaye ... Trainer King
Nanette Newman ... Valerie
Bill Kerr ... Jack Coombes
Ed Devereaux ... Bluey May
Reg Lye ... Reg Denton
John Le Mesurier ... Assistant Commissioner
Graham Stark ... Sid Cooper
Martin Boddey ... Superintendent Forest
Irene Browne ... Dowager
Arthur Mullard ... Brassknuckles
Dermot Kelly Dermot Kelly ... Misery Martin
Vanda Godsell ... Annette
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Storyline

The crooks in London know how it works. No one carries guns and no one resists the police. Then a new gang appears that goes one better. They dress as Police Officers and steal from the crooks. This upset's the natural order of the Police/criminal relationship, and the Police and the crooks join forces to catch the impersonating Police Officers, including an armored car robbery in which the Police must help the gangs to set a trap. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the Mastermind Who Pulls the Strings in the Underworld...and all his mobs and dolls...filling the London fog with laughter and lunacy!!!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1963 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Falesná ruka zákona See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Pearly Gates (Peter Sellers) has shown his gang a movie he shot showing the jewelry shop manager opening his safe and thus providing them with the combination, one of the gang asks, "What's on next week?" Sellers replies "A few educational films and training films. Starting off with Rififi (1955).. "the French film"...The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960)...followed by The League of Gentlemen (1960)...After that we're having a discussion of what we've learned from all three films." Each of these titles is an actual movie released between 1955 and 1960 depicting burglaries. See more »

Goofs

In the first bank robbery, the robbers drive away from the bank, but in the next shot they are seen approaching the bank again from the opposite direction as the IPO mob divert them down a side street where they are lined up against a wall directly opposite the bank.

The first shop they pass after leaving the bank is an International Stuffs shop. The next shop has an awning pulled down from a higher level than the International Stuffs shop. It also has an arched opening just above the awning. When the IPO divert them down a side street, they are again in front of an International Stuffs shop, but the next shop has a smaller awning, a name sign above it and no arched opening above that (a different facade altogether), and thus, not the same location. No other buildings are shown in full, so it cannot be assumed that they are in the same location simply based on one shop being the same. As it is called International, however, it can be assumed that there are more than one, particularly a fictitious one. And, as stated before, the shop next door is entirely different. See more »

Quotes

[Pearly Gates has arrange to meet Inspector "Nosy" Parker on a roundabout at a funfair]
Inspector Parker: [complaining] I suppose this is your idea of a joke. Battersea Funfair. Fancy having a meeting on a thing like this.
Pearly Gates: I must admit, the idea of a load of bogeys going round in circles did appeal to me, yeah.
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Connections

References Car 54, Where Are You? (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Charley, Take It Away
(uncredited)
Written by Arthur Le Clerq, Frederick Malcolm and Elvin Hedges
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe a classic...
15 April 2007 | by david-friezeSee all my reviews

Peter Sellers is, unusually, the quiet at the center of the storm that makes up the plot of this wonderfully funny film. He plays Pearly Gates, a criminal (and women's wear salesman), who learns that an Australian gang is dressing up as policemen, intercepting Pearly's mob in mid-theft and making off with the goods. He joins forces not only with the leader of a rival gang, who are also suffering from the Australian competition, but also with the police, who don't want their reputation besmirched.

Sellers is very good, but top acting honors go to Lionel Jefferies as the hopelessly idiotic policeman trying to prove himself by catching the criminals. Jefferies and Bernard Cribbins, as Nervous (the rival gang's leader), give expertly larger-than-life performances while getting their biggest laughs with throwaway lines and subtle bits of business (like Nervous finishing up his negotiations with Pearly by pulling out some family snaps). Cliff Owen's direction is very sharp and very fast, and allows a cast of experienced character actors to do their best work. Dennis Price displays flawless timing and delivery in a small, unbilled cameo. This film might just be a hidden classic.


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